I’ve been going to one-on-one therapy since high school. A lot of people see therapy as something you go to if you have a problem or need to fix something in your life. While that’s the case sometimes, it’s also just nice to have someone to confide in and someone that listens to you without judgment. Something that was suggested to me multiple times, and that I shot down every single time, was the idea of group therapy. When I finally realized I needed to work on how I present myself to others, I took a step outside of my comfort zone and decided to join Understanding Self and Others through CAPS at Penn State. I didn’t know what or who to expect, but I’m glad I pushed myself to attend this group. It was an amazing experience, and I learned things about myself that I didn’t even know and things that I’ll carry with me forever. Here are seven lessons that I learned from group therapy:
1. When it comes to therapy, there’s no “typical” person you expect to see. Everyone struggles with things, even the people you would least expect to see at therapy.
2. Group therapy pushes you to step outside of your shell and pushes you to be open to understanding how other people view you.
3. There are many different personalities within the group, thus giving you many different perspectives on situations.
4. You see yourself in others and are able to step back and reflect on their situation, possibly helping you to reflect on your own situations, as well.
5. You learn things about yourself from others and from opening up.
6. Not everyone thinks the same as you do, and group therapy can help you to remember that.
7. You learn to speak without offending, but are still able to provide constructive criticism.